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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Writing a Relatable Character

Whenever I write I write with the aim to create all my characters with some aspect of relatability. It doesn’t matter how major nor minor they are, I think it’s paramount for a writer to make their characters believable. It’s our duty to our readers. To write in a weak, unbelievable character into a piece of work is an insult to your loyal readers. I feel like it is insulting their intelligence. I’ve read many things with character that are ‘groan worthy’ and it ruins the mood of the book. No matter how good a piece of writing is, if there is an unbelievable character in it you’re going to be dragged back to reality with the realisation that this is only after all just a book. What a let down….. 

I have come to a shocking realisation this morning, I’m a female creating male characters and oh my gosh I think I’ve created feminine, unrealistic male characters. I’m lucky to have a very romantic husband but he is not the type to try and stay clean or neat – ever! The main male protagonists in my manuscripts (that thankfully are still in the editing process) are too romantic, good looking, clean and neat, emotional and over all too perfect. Every female wants the perfect male and by creating that kind of protagonist I feel that we are reminding our readers that this piece of writing is just fiction and guys like that don’t exist. I’m scared now that my male characters would fit nicely into a Mills & Boon book. I have nothing against Mills & Boon books but they are notoriously known for having these unbelievable, overly emotional male characters. These are the characters that give the current male population an unfairly high standard that they almost always cannot reach. 

To all those lovely ladies who enjoy a good fantasy with the perfect male in it who ‘sweeps the girl off of her feet’ please remember that back here in real life like every other human being you must take the good with the bad. Love your partner for their amazing traits, traits that make you laugh and smile and don’t dwell on the things that may irritate or annoy you. To concentrate on the negatives in anything in life will always lead to hurt and disaster.

Back to my feminine characters. Maybe all manuscripts with the ‘perfect male’ in them should be read by a male to ensure that you haven’t created something so unrealistic your readers actually cringe whilst reading. I’ll try and give an example and I apologise if my writing isn’t at a high standard.

She stood there staring at him, the tears welling in her eyes as her heart was breaking. She needed him to love her, accept her for who she was. A tear spilled over slowly making its down her cheek. He stepped forward closing the gap between them, raised his hand and with the softest touch caught her tear and wiped it away. His hand slowly wrapped around her own and guided it up, placing it over where his heart is.

“My heart will always only beat for you my darling. I could never live without your love. I’ve spent my whole life searching for you, for this love.” His hand proceeded to caress her face and he stared deep into her eyes.

“You’re the most perfect creature I’ve ever seen and every time I see you, your beauty takes my breathe away.” He enfolded her in his strong muscular arms chasing away all of her fears.

Ok so that was even hard for me to write as I just wanted to say to the male character to ‘man up’ so to speak. I personally got a bit annoyed at how he acted more how a woman would want than how a man would actually act. Don’t get me wrong there may be times where writing like this makes sense or is appropriate but not in my writing that’s for sure. 

To write a relatable character in my experience is to combine the fantasy man (as above) with the experiences you have lived through. Those moments when you needed someone to say something that would make it all better but even though they try the words aren’t as perfect as you had imagined. Most males don’t always have the exact words you need to hear but nevertheless they try and usual try hard. Their love shouldn’t be measured by the words they say. When I cry my husband just pulls me into a hug, there’s none of this wiping away my tears stuff haha yet a hug always helps make it all better. 

Always remember the emotional moments in your life when writing about such things. It will help you and the readers relate to the characters and situation. Life and those in it aren’t always perfect – so why make all your characters and scenes perfect? 

 

 

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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Forgive but Never Forget

This post is about my personal life and the things I learn through life experiences. It’s far from book related but every experience in life is another feeling that the characters in our book may go through. Everything an author experiences is a life lesson that we can write about and make our characters more realistic and relatable. 

All it takes is less than 48hrs of events to break the previously assumed strong foundations of life. I’ve learnt so much about my relationship, my friends, my morals, expectations and values, the cruelness life can bring and of course myself. All of this in a weekend and what do you get = emotional overload. My head and heart are in emotional turmoil and there is chaos in my previously calm mind. This blog post is about letting it all out and hopefully moving forward in my life. As a friend told me, “we all need to vent sometimes.” This is my vent. A fun, romantic weekend away turned into a massive disaster which left me emotionally destroyed and angry. It’s amazing how the actions of others can start a chain reaction, leading to an explosion or in my case implosion…..

 

Emotions are strange things. They dictate our lives, never allowing us to function without them regardless of what we think. Even trying to be nonchalant about life is still a feeling and there are ALWAYS some underlying emotions fighting to break through and even sometimes break you. 

Jealousy can lead to verbal abuse and degradation which can cause a defining moment based on other people’s emotional reactions. Their reactions can cause anger, resentment and a break down in trust or it can result in a new fondness, appreciation and gratitude. I feel that sex (male and female) can play such a huge difference in people’s behaviour. It’s wasn’t the first time a male had degraded, belittled and been down right nasty to me, hell I work in a male dominated industry which leads to some males feeling threatened and being abusive. And it’s far from the first time I wished I was a samurai so I had the strength to kick their arses but the proverbial kick in the guts came from my husbands reaction or in this case lack thereof. In life I feel that with every positive in someone’s personality something else (that doesn’t always matter that much) loses out. My darling husband is incredibly laid back and I love that. It means that we have only ever really had a handful of very minor fights but never anything serious. 

Unlike my husband, I have a fiery side which includes a temper that shows itself albeit rarely. The longer I’m with my husband the calmer I become and that’s usually a good thing. No-one wants to be a loose canon that people are scared of became it takes nothing to set off a Godzilla kind of rage. BUT and I mean BUT there is a protective side of me that will never be sedated especially not for good. It will always remain and heaven forbid you should do a damn thing to hurt one of my loved ones. Is it because I’m female? Is it a motherly instinct that we are born with that grows with us as our love does? I’m not a mother – yet (God willing of course) but I’d hate to be someone who hurts my babies because as my mother has always said = NO-ONE hurts her ‘chickies!’ My mother (hen as she refers to herself as) has always been a very protective mother. Of course I’m biased but she was always there to ‘save her babies’ and still at 26yrs old she will offer to fight for me. That’s the kind of love I feel for John. I would fight tooth and nail for him and would sacrifice everything just for him to be happy. As one of my previous blog posts explained, my love for him is all-consuming and no matter what it always will be. I know he loves me just as much which is another reason why this has all hit me like a truck at high speed. I feel broken and don’t know how I’m supposed to handle and deal with this all.

Cue my itunes to start playing ‘Say Something by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera’ = nice!!!! Good timing itunes!

The thought that has replayed itself over and over again is – I can handle myself but I shouldn’t have to, not anymore. That’s his job’

For the last TWO years whenever one of his supposed good friends decides to grace us with his presence (how fortunate are we?) he says nasty things to me. We banter nastily only for me to try and explain to John that he needs to step in and put a stop to it. He always apologises and promises he will and doesn’t want to have anything to do with said ‘friend’ again. Unfortunately as time goes on, things fade and past misdemeanours are forgotten. I of course love him and don’t want to nag him nor give him ultimatums. In hindsight I really should’ve done that a LONG time ago. You live and you learn from such things I guess.

When I’m hurt and angry I’m not the kind of person to yell and scream and be violent although I certainly wanted to. I bottle it up and stay quiet for fear of letting go, losing control and becoming the monster that those negative emotions turn you into.

Things have seen bee sorted but I’m not sure John really understands why I’m so upset. I’m having a very hard time overcoming the hurt and confusion at why so may times did he just stand there and let (or more like make) me stand up for myself. I don’t understand how he didn’t feel any protective emotions. I don’t know how to deal with that and he broke my trust in a way that hurts more than so anything else. The burning question that has since wrapped itself around my heart and constricts it like a disease is how will he react if such a situation occurs again? My chest aches and I’m scared at the answer to that question. He says he’s learnt his lesson and I know he’s protected me in the past but there have been many times I wished he would’ve stepped up so to speak. I need someone to tell me, to give me an answer I can understand as to how he could just stand there and let it continue. I know the aching will fade but the memories are etched in my mind forever.

I was very lucky though to have an unexpected ally. His best and most loyal friend and my best friend’s husband. He walked me home and took care of me. He may have admitted that he didn’t understand John’s actions but he still stuck up for him and was, as best friends should be, loyal to him whilst still being a nice guy to me. My hope if for him to maybe guide John to be the man he needs to be. Marriage means growing up for both parties I feel and that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or have other friends but you must ALWAYS stay fiercely loyal to that one person regardless of who says something against them be it best friend or the most powerful person in the world. Fight for what’s right, always fight for them.

I apologise for venting but sometimes the hard lessons others learn in life can help prevent things, help give you strength to make changes or show you that other people problems that you may be able to relate to as well. Love if hard and life is harder. Life and the people in it will always be waiting to destroy your happiness. NEVER let them succeed. 

I live by the belief to always forgive as it will bring you peace but never ever forget for those moments have shaped you as a person and you never want to forget how you became the person you are now. 

Forgive but never forget….

 

 

***Like always I apologise for spelling and grammatical errors. These things occur and my blog is more about freedom of speech rather than an edited copy of my thoughts. I rarely reread my blog posts before publishing and leave the dreaded editing to my manuscript.*** 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Archipelago by Mati Raine Review 5 stars!

I was lucky enough to read Archipelago by Mati Raine as a beta reader and I have to say that I absolutely loved it! This book is definitely a 5 star book and I would recommended it to every age group. The cover is beautiful and intriguing which is always a great start.

It starts with a female protagonist – Lily who develops wings and because of that she has lived an extremely sheltered life. Lily seemed to be a bit of a weak character in the sense that she was scared of everything but you have to remind yourself with an up bringing such as the one she has had, wouldn’t you be? Throughout the book Lily transforms into a great strong character who you really love and are rooting for. My favourite character though would have to be one of the twins – Wyvr (love the spelling too). He and his twin are Australian and being an Aussie myself well, it’s always great to find that in a book. The love life of Lily is as difficult and confusing as any teenage girl’s. I won’t spoil is but when Lily gets her heart broken it’s devastating but very relatable. I won’t lie this book brought me to tears a few times. To me when a book can have that kind of effect on me it means that it’s so well written and draws me in so much that I care enough about the well being of the characters enough to be moved emotionally.

With all the action in this book I think it is definitely one of those books that a reader would benefit more from if they read it more than once. It’s something that I plan on doing before the second book is released. I’m desperately hoping that I don’t have to wait too long to get my hands on the second book. I was left badly wanting to find out which boy Lily ends up getting with and needing to know what happens next. I can hardly fault this book and I think it is the kind of book that should go far.

This is currently my favourite book and I assume it will only be surpassed by the next book (no pressure of anything Mati haha).

I will be buying a print version (wish it was hardback as it’s such a lovely looking book) so I can always have a copy on my book shelf. It’s cheap enough that you really can’t go wrong with it. 

Congratulations Mati on such a wonderful piece of writing and thank you for letting me be your beta reader, I was honoured.

Archipelago cover

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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